Larry Stone: Mariners should keep Brandon League

Jul 14, 2011, 6:25 PM | Updated: 6:47 pm

Mariners closer Brandon League was an All-Star after notching 23 saves, second-best in the AL. (AP photo)

By staff

A four-game sweep by the Angels that dropped the Mariners to 7.5 games out of first place has turned the discussion from potential acquisitions to the tradeable assets on the current roster.

Brandon League’s name has been mentioned as one player who could be of interest to a contender, as such teams are often looking to bolster their bullpens before the trade deadline. But Larry Stone of The Seattle Times doesn’t think the Mariners should deal their All-Star closer, a contention that’s based on the perceived weak market for League’s services.

“I am not sure you would get much for Brandon League even with the year he is having,” Stone said Thursday on the Kevin Calabro Show. “Francisco Rodriguez got traded, you’ve got Heath Bell on the market, the closer in Kansas City, [Joakim] Soria, and these are All-Star, proven closers that are going to be available.

“[League] would be the third among those guys, so I don’t know how much you would get even for Brandon League.”

League, 28, rebounded from a brutal stretch in May to notch 23 saves in the first half of the season, one off the American League lead. He was an All-Star for the first time in his career.

Stone thinks that even with hard-throwing right-handed relievers Josh Lueke and Dan Cortes — among others — waiting in the minors, the Mariners would have a tough time replacing League, who’s under contract for another year.

“The bullpen has been the strength of this team and League was an All-Star,” he said, “so I am not too sure if that is a wise thing to do.”

Date Starting Pitcher
Friday, October 7 @ 1:07 pm Luis Castillo vs. Alek Manoah

Mariners Roof Report

Brought to you by
Areas Of Fog then Haze
High 75° | Low 54°
Mariners are on the road.
Mariners at Blue Jays today at 1:07pm

Wyman & Bob

Seattle Mariners

Brandon Gustafson

Mariners’ Wild Card roster, Game 1 lineup vs Blue Jays in playoff opener

Check out the Mariners' Wild Card roster and Game 1 lineup vs the Blue Jays, with notes on who made the team and who the cleanup hitter is.
10 hours ago
Mariners Toronto...
The Associated Press

Mariners-Blue Jays Preview: Premier pitching matchup for Game 1

There's a whole lot riding on the battle of Toronto's Alek Manoah and the Mariners' Luis Castillo in Friday's wild card opener.
10 hours ago
Mariners Mitch Haniger...
Shannon Drayer

Drayer’s Mariners Notebook: Excitement, not nerves, evident for M’s in Toronto

From the ground in Toronto, Mariners insider Shannon Drayer shares what she learned from the players, who had an optional workout Thursday, and more notes.
1 day ago
Mariners Andres Munoz...
Brandon Gustafson

Mariners-Blue Jays a battle of strengths with Seattle’s arms and Toronto’s bats

The Blue Jays' strength is their hitting and the Mariners' strength is their pitching. Brandon Gustafson provides some numbers on the matchup.
1 day ago
Mariners Logan Gilbert...
Brandon Gustafson

How Mariners’ starting rotation looks for Wild Card round vs Blue Jays

The Mariners have announced their current plan for the starting rotation against the Blue Jays in the best-of-three Wild Card round.
1 day ago
Joe Fann

Fann: Emotionally preparing for 1st Mariners playoff series in 21 years

With the Mariners set to play postseason baseball for the first time since 2001, Joe Fann shares how he's feeling emotionally about this year.
1 day ago
Larry Stone: Mariners should keep Brandon League